Nazi Medical Trials: The “Good,” The Bad, And The Ugly

657 words - 3 pages

As the human species develops, medicine follows suit. Researchers look down medicinal avenues which promise a better life-- a longer life. However, red and blue paint cannot engender purple paint without proper mixing. Thus, health sciences cannot expand without thorough experimentation. The Nazis exemplified this concept of “thorough experimentation” with their cruel and inhumane medical experiments. The trials varied in nature and reason. Some of the “experiments had legitimate scientific purposes, though the methods that were used violated the canons of medical ethics. Others were racial in nature, designed to advance Nazi racial theories. [However,] Most were simply bad science.” ...view middle of the document...

For this reason, the German scientists investigated the aspects of war-induced wounds. However, true to their Fascist core, the experimenting was not done on the soldiers who were already damaged. It was performed on inmates within the consecration camps. Said prisoners were “inflicted [with] battlefield-like wounds” and then the wounds were infected “with bacteria such as streptococcus, tetanus, and gas gangrene” (Pbs.org). In addition, the researchers would aggravate the wound with particulates of glass and wood in attempt to replicate war conditions.
With highly prevalent war-injuries occurring, the Third Reich knew they had to find ways to combat wounds and illnesses. Thus, the Nazis turned toward medicinal research. The German scientists “tested immunization compounds and sera for the prevention and treatment of contagious diseases, including malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and infectious hepatitis” (ushmm.org). Sulfanilamide --the drug the researchers experimented most with-- was given to prisoners with artificially-induced war wounds. German scientists monitored the “patients” and recorded side effects and the effectiveness of sulfanilamide and other...

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